Introducing a new series: Arts Analytics

Arts Analytics

I’m starting a new series of posts that that I’m calling Arts Analytics.

I’ve chosen a group of 100 arts organisations and, on a regular basis, I’m going to use various digital metrics to see how those organisations compare against each other. For instance:

  • What percentage of those organisations have mobile websites?
  • How many use Google AdWords?
  • How well have they optimised their website’s performance?
  • Who’s the noisiest on social networks?

I’ll try not to be too technical in all of this and, because the analysis is the key thing, in each post I’ll look at what the data is telling us and whether there’s anything useful we can learn. In some cases the lesson will be clear and obvious. In others that won’t be the case. In some cases I fully expect the message to be ‘don’t bother measuring this, it might be interesting but it’s a waste of time’.

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I’ll put together an email round-up of the most recent posts so you don’t have to miss out. Sign up to the regular catch-up newsletter here.

Of course, if you’ve not already, you can also subscribe to this blog, with all the other posts, via RSS or email.

About the Arts Analytics series

For a while now I’ve been teaching myself more and more about the various ways to analyse an online presence and its effectiveness (and to identify areas for improvement). I’ve been learning about website stats, search engine optimisation, social media measurement, email marketing, ecommerce metrics and user testing and so on. I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I’m learning.

I get to use this kind of information in my work with arts organisations, passing on what I learn to clients so they can, in the words of the agency I work for “connect with their audiences and do better business”.

The more I’ve learnt, the more I’ve come to think that knowledge of this stuff across the cultural sector is patchy, at best. Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there who know their stuff, but I also see too many organisations making simple errors and/or missing out on easy wins.

To sum up, I’m curious about this stuff and I think there’s value in sharing the lessons more widely. So that’s the point of this series of posts.

About the organisations I’m using for comparison

The 100 arts organisations I’ve chosen to use for this series are the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations that will receive the most funding in 2013/14. I’ve picked them because there’s already some useful data available that I can use and I suspect they’re more likely than most to have put some effort into their digital presence. They’re a reasonably varied bunch, representing various artforms and parts of the country.

Rather wonderfully, 19 of them are, or have been, clients of Made Media (the company that I work for). Let’s hope nothing lands me in too much trouble then. The full list is over on the Arts Analytics page.

Get involved

If there’s anything you’d like me to cover then please let me know. I’m mostly doing this out of my own sense of curiosity, but if there’s something you’d like me to look at then please let me know in the comments below.